Smarter Me, a Singapore-based live online school which equips children with critical knowledge and skills for the future, and Founders Bootcamp, a teenager-founder focused VC fund in the US, will be holding the finals of Young Founders Summit @ South East Asia on 17 November at Stamford American International School.

This is arguably the world’s very first high school accelerator, giving teenagers the opportunity to develop their ideas and realise real-life solutions to real world problems.

This is the first time that Young Founders Summit is being run in Asia and marks the start of a West-East global entrepreneurship programme that aims to fund and support teenage founders.

The past winners in Los Angeles have even raised US$500,000 in funding and appeared on Shark Tank.

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Young Founders Summit @South East Asia received submissions from over 100 teen and tween founders (no older than 17) from six countries in Asia. Top three winners will win US$10,000 of cash prizes and a direct pass to the Global leg of Young Founders Summit 2019, which takes place in Los Angeles in April 2019. There, they will pitch for US$50,000 of investor funding and entry into the esteemed two-month accelerator programme.

“These teenager founders all share a common goal — to creatively use technology to problem-solve for a better world, and to change the world. We believe that the entrepreneurial mindset is one of the most important skills to succeed in the future, but most kids don’t even try because they don’t know they can,” Smarter Me CEO Ee Ling Lim said. “Therefore, by bringing Young Founders Summit to Southeast Asia, we want to empower them and change the perceptions of what’s possible.”

Facebook, Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), DBS Bank, Stamford American International School, Sunway Innovation Lab, Trehaus, and FutureLab are the partners of the event.

Prior to the Finals, on 16 November, Facebook is hosting the top 30 semi-finalists at its new office in Marina One, where they will be coached on ‘the art of storytelling” and “nailing the pitch.

Young Founders Summit also brings together a panel of notable home-grown Southeast Asian entrepreneurs and investors as judges and mentors, such as Co-founder of Love, Bonito, Rachel Lim; CEO of Paktor, Ng Jing Shen Ng; well-known businesswoman and socialite Tjin Lee; Southeast Asia and Taiwan Country Head of Airbnb, Robin Kwok; CEO of Grain, Yong Yi Sung; INSEAD’s Professor of Entrepreneurship, Dr Virginia Cha; CTO of Garuda Robotics, Ong Jiin Joo. Close to 200 entrepreneurs, investors, students, and parents are expected to attend the Summit.

Smarter Me is a future skills online school in Asia, which offers classes in coding, robotics, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and mindfulness for children and teens ages 9 to 17. Its vision is to be the leading global school that prepares kids with the skillset, mindset and heartset, to define and achieve their own success and happiness in the future world.

Founders Bootcamp runs a full-scale startup accelerator for teenagers. Co-founded by a Milken Educator and a serial entrepreneur from MIT, and running in partnership with UCLA, the goal of the programme is to help teenagers build startups from scratch including developing products and securing investor funding.

In 2018, eight teams were awarded US$50,000 each in exchange for 5 per cent of the company, and went through a two-month acceleration and mentorship programme at University of California, Los Angeles, where they incorporated their companies, launched their businesses, and acquired customers.